Today is a new day! Start the session by giving thanks to God for something he has blessed you with today. (New day, life, health, friends, etc.)
Lay the photos you have brought face down on a table, mix them up, then try and guess who is who when they are turned over. Share the documents and explain what it meant at the time.
Discuss the new starts you have had in life.
Read Psalm 139:14
‘Every day we begin to write a new page,
so that life never needs to feel old.’
Major Catherine Wyles: Growing Old Gracefully
Over the last few sessions we have looked at ‘Forgiveness’. Accepting forgiveness means that we move forward from the past and into the new.
Catherine’s words are a reminder that today is a new day, a new chapter, an adventure and we do not have to be held by past sin and sorrow.
Daytime TV is full of programmes which are based on renovation. You may like ‘Homes under the hammer’ or ‘DIY SOS’. A house is taken charge of, it is renovated, painted, new furniture added, a new front door perhaps and ‘ta-da’, a new renovated home. A few years ago there was another programme called ‘10 years younger’, where women and some men gave themselves
over to also go under some form of renovation. Nipped, tucked, teeth straightened and whitened, lipo-suction and all manner of remedies to make these people look younger and then again, ‘ta-da’, a new renovated,
possibly younger-looking person. The problem with these programmes that we sometimes fail to see is that even when something is renovated, whether that is a house or a person, it is still the same house essentially and still the same person, they just look a little different.
As Christians it is not so much the outside that matters as the inside. Dallas Willard speaks about putting on the character of Christ in his book Renovation of the Heart. Willard reminds us that it is the renovation of the heart as a Christian that is paramount to being a follower of Jesus Christ. Only when our heart is aligned to Christ’s can our attitude be that of a true disciple.
Read Philippians 2:5
‘There are no easy formulas, definitive “how to’s” for growth into Christlikeness. Such growth depends on constant seeking. But there
are many things we can do to place ourselves at the disposal of God and God’s promise to us. Jeremiah 29:13 is a reminder of that when it says “you will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”’
Read 2 Corinthians 5:17
Accept that we are made new in Christ Jesus and that with our renovated hearts we need to seek God and his direction for our lives. That includes letting go of the past and forgiving ourselves, forgiving others and letting go of guilt which we have thought about over the past few weeks. There may have been times when we just want to hold on to past hurts, past guilt, past sin but if we do this we will stop ourselves from moving forward with Jesus. Only when we walk fully in the freedom of Christ will we be able to help others to do the same.
Our hearts have been renovated! We are made new in Christ Jesus. Surely that makes our hearts shout ‘Hallelujah!’ which means God be praised!
‘The way to get as many people into heaven as you can is to get heaven into as many people as you can that is, to follow the path of genuine spiritual transformation of full throttle discipleship of Jesus Christ.’
So it is time to free ourselves, if we have not already done so, to enable us to free others. It is time for a new you and a new me. The old has gone, the new has come.
Read Philippians 12:1-2
Ask God to bring to your mind those things – in order that you may lay them down.
Are there things that you need to change from this moment on?
No guilt in life, no fear in death,
this is the power of Christ in me;
From life’s first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of Hell, no scheme of man,
can ever pluck me from his hand;
Till he returns or calls me Home,
here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.